Monday, January 5, 2015

First triathlon of the year

I competed in the Life Time Fitness Indoor Triathlon on January 4, 2015. It was an interesting way to start the season! The race consisted of a 10  minute lap swim, 10 minute transition, 30 minute stationary bike ride, 5 minute transition, and 20 minute treadmill run. The race was sold out with 100 participants. We were divided into waves of 10 that started twenty minutes apart. The first wave began at 8:00 AM. My wave was scheduled to start at 9:40 AM. They requested that you arrive 45 minutes before your scheduled start time. I had never been to this gym but I knew where it was at. It was located on the opposite side of town so I left at 8:00 AM in order to give myself plenty of time to get there and get signed in.

I arrived at about 8:40 AM and went inside. I stopped at the front desk so I could sign in and get a card for the locker. Next, I stopped by the registration table to pick up my t-shirt, swim cap and race bib. I then made my way to the women's locker room. If you have never been to a Life Time Fitness locker room, you are missing out. They are so nice! I found an empty locker and asked a friend for assistance with figuring out the combination process. I put my stuff away and went to the pool to meet up with some friends. I had friends in just about every wave competing that day. I watched a few swim while I talked to a few spectators and waiting athletes. Since I had some extra time, I went upstairs to the bike and run area. I stopped by and talked to some more of my friends as they were on the machines. They seemed to like the distraction. At about 9:15 AM, I made my way back downstairs for a few last minute potty stops (I never go only once before a race).


I made my way to the pool deck at about 9:20 AM. I met up with several of my wave mates. We sat at the end of the pool and made some nervous talk. At 9:30 AM, we were able to get into the pool to warm up. I had overheard others talk about the water being too warm so I was a little concerned about that. Luckily, the pool that I entered (they had us swimming in two pools) was not too warm so I was fine. I swam two laps to warm up and then took my place at the start to wait for the whistle. We had to share lanes so I had a nice man as a lane mate. At 9:39 AM, we started. The man next to me was a faster swimmer but that worked out because we were never at the wall at the same time. I could see the clock at one point in my swim so I was able to see how my pace was working out. My goal was to swim 20 laps or 500 meters. When the clock got to 9:49 AM, I began to hear a lot of yelling. I knew that meant that time was almost up. I gave my final push and then heard the whistle so I knew it was time to stop. I was at the opposite end of the pool so I climbed out of the pool and made my way to the lap counter. I asked her how I did and she said that I completed 23 lap and the man next to me had done 25 laps. I was pleased with that number.

I said hi to a few more people I knew who were getting ready to swim next and then grabbed a towel and made my way into the locker room. I got into my locker to get my cycling and running gear. I was wearing my tri shorts and shirt for the entire race so I didn't need to worry about changing my clothes. I quickly dried my feet off and got my socks and shoes on, grabbed my visor, headphones, and water and headed upstairs. I got there with about 3 minutes left in the transition so I made my bike sizing and mounted the bike.

One of the volunteers came over and showed me how to work the computer and gave me a few last minute instructions. After a short countdown, we were off. I was on a bike at the end of the second row. I had a man next to me who was working hard so it was good motivation for me to work hard as well. I had several friends stop by and cheer me on as I pedaled. The man next to me said he wish he had his own cheering squad too. I love the friends I have made through triathlons! They are so encouraging. Having someone yell my name out every few minutes definitely helped keep me going. My goal was to pass 10.1 miles in the 30 minutes. At the 10 minute mark I was at 3.4 miles and got a little nervous of making my goal. I stepped up my pace a little, put my head down and pounded it out. At 20 minutes, I was at 6.8 miles. I had at least stayed consistent with my pace. The computer said I was traveling at about 20.1-20.8 miles per hour. I knew that I was going to cut it close to my goal but I should make it as long as I kept the pace up. As the time was approaching 30 minutes, I passed the 10 mile mark. When there was about a minute left, I started a sprint to the finish. At the whistle, the meter read 10.3. As I was unclipping, the pedal made one more rotation and the meter rolled to 10.4. I was pleased with those numbers and had surpassed my goal.

The final transition was only 5 minutes so I said hi to a few people but quickly made my way to a treadmill. I changed out of my cycling shoes and into my running shoes. I drank some water and adjusted my headphones while waiting the start of the run. I was sandwiched between an older man and one of my friends. It was nice being next to someone I knew for the final leg. She is a fast runner and I was tired. I knew that she would help push me through the final leg. 

A volunteer came by and gave us the final instructions for the treadmill and then started the short countdown to start. I knew that I only needed to get through 20 minutes and then I'd be done. My goal was to run 2 miles. She told us to start and I was off. I adjusted the speed to a 6.5 for the first few minutes. I then settled into a 6.0 (10:00 per mile pace) for the majority of the run. As long as I kept it as that pace or better, I would make my goal. I was dragging though and running towards that back of the treadmill. My friend kept yelling out encouraging words to get me moving. She told me that I was stronger than I realized and to get moving. At the 15 minute mark, I began to bump the speed up. Every minute meant one bump. At the 19 minute mark, I was at 6.4. I then started to bump it every 15 seconds. So for the final 15 seconds, I was at a 6.7. When time was called, I hit pause so the volunteer could record the distance. It read 2.01. I had just barely made my goal. I realized that I should have began my push sooner than I did because I finished feeling like I had more to give. All in all, I was pleased with my numbers and my effort. 

Once finished, I talked with a few of my wave mates and some of my friends who were currently on the bikes and treadmills. After a few high fives and hugs, I made my way back to the locker room. I showered and got dressed while talking with some fellow racers. I wore my new race t-shirt proudly as I made my way out of the locker room. 

This was a great race! I looked at it as a good training brick. It was shorter than a true sprint triathlon but it was intense. I ended up beating all of my goals which I was really happy about. If one of these indoor triathlons come to your town, give it a try! They are great for all levels and abilities. They are well organized, low-key and inexpensive.

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